The Durham Museum

 February 23 - May 26, 2013

Learn how the Omaha and Council Bluffs region contributed to the suffrage movement in We Want the Vote: Women’s Suffrage on the Great Plains. As cities, states, and nations changed, women began to realize the importance of having a say with a vote. Even though suffrage began as a fairly radical concept in 1848, as the decades passed women from all backgrounds began to understand that they didn’t just want the vote, they needed the vote.

Through both artifacts and interactives, the exhibit will tell the story of the suffrage struggle on the Great Plains. In 1882, Omaha hosted the 14th Annual National Women Suffrage Association meeting. The same year, Nebraska was the site of a fierce suffrage campaign which attracted the attention of political leaders including Susan B. Anthony. Iowa provided a number of national suffrage leaders, including Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Women Suffrage Association, and the famed Amelia Bloomer, the namesake of the bloomer and a resident of Council Bluffs from 1852 until her death in 1894. In addition to pieces from The Durham’s own collection, the exhibit will include artifacts and images from local and national partners, including:

The National Archives Library of Congress
State Historical Society of Iowa
Nebraska State Historical Society
Wyoming State Museum
South Dakota State Historical Society
National Susan B. Anthony House and Museum
Council Bluffs Public Library
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library
University of Iowa-Women’s Archives
National Park Service-Frederick Douglass Historic Site

We Want the Vote: Women’s Suffrage on the Great Plains is created by The Durham Museum and is sponsored by the Nebraska Humanities Council and Mary, Kelly, and Sarah Wilson. Additional support provided by National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Nebraska.


Above photo courtesy of the The National Archives. Susan B. Anthony, photo courtesy of Library of Congress.